The founder of a Birmingham-based charity has died after losing his battle with oesophageal cancer.
Matt Kendall, a youth and community development worker from Kings Heath and inspiration behind the Matt Kendall Foundation, died peacefully at home on Monday, May 18.
Father-of-one Mr Kendall used his last few weeks to set up the foundation, which will continue his life’s work in supporting Birmingham’s disadvantaged 16-25 year olds to realise their potential.
Thanks to the support of the people and business in Birmingham who donated more than £10,000 in two weeks, trustees are now able to officially set up the foundation as a grant-giving organisation.
Speaking to the Post earlier this month, Mr Kendall said: “I couldn’t be more proud of it (the foundation).
“Hundreds of people have come to me and told me that I have made a difference to their lives, and equally I could say the same about them.
“So I thought: ‘what a great way to take something bad and make something good out of it’.
“This could do more good than when I was alive – this could be the best opportunity I have to change young people’s lives for the better.”
Sophie Wilson, trustee of the foundation, and close friend, said 35-year-old Matt’s legacy will live on.
“While being absolutely devastated at the loss of such a fantastic person, I know that Matt’s memory will continue to guide and inspire the trustees of the foundation and its army of supporters across Birmingham and the world,” she said.
“Matt was the most inspirational person I have ever met. He changed to lives of so many people, and we’re determined that his foundation will do the same.
“Before he died, he told us how delighted and humbled he was at the huge swell of support. Thank you to everyone.
“Matt’s death puts even more of a focus on what we’re here to do. There are over 8,000 young people not in education, employment or training in our city and that number is growing. It’s one of the highest rates in the whole country. That’s not good enough, but we can change that through this foundation.”
The Foundation is asking people to share memories of Matt on the foundation’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/themattkendallfoundation
Anyone wishing to donate to the foundation can do so through the Birmingham Council for Voluntary Services, or email firstname.lastname@example.org